Coconut’s Fish Cafe Opens in Kapaa
Last week there was a grand opening of Coconut’s Fish Cafe, the chain’s first location on Kauai, and they’re open now to the public. The restaurant’s decor is bright and fun (the surfboard tables are too cute), and a fast-casual ordering and seating style, which makes it a great option for a quick lunch.
The menu highlights sustainably caught fish in a variety of forms – the most popular being their fish tacos. We tried these and they are BIG – loaded with mahi and ono, a very thick-cut coleslaw, cheese, and a mango salsa balancing a red tomato-based salsa. Seventeen ingredients are highlighted in just one taco. Founder and Chef, Michael Phillips, refers to himself as the “taco nazi” and is adamant that you MUST pick it up, eat it with your hands, and make a mess. Don’t get caught using utensils or splitting the taco contents onto two separate tortillas!
We also sampled the seafood chowder, poke (sesame seeds added a nice crunch), cajun grilled chicken sandwich, and coconut shrimp. The shrimp was a stand-out – exceptionally crispy with a deliciously strong coconut flavor crust, served with homemade Thai chili sauce that uses pineapple for its sweetness. Their menu also has options for salads, entrees with rice, pasta, and fish n chips style preparations, as well as a decent keiki menu with seven different options.
Chef Phillips is from California and opened the first restaurant in Maui back in 2009 before expanding to Arizona, California, and now – Kauai. Even in his new restaurants he aims to support local fishermen, farmers, and brewers. Their cabbage – which is present all across the menu and their #1 utilized produce – is sourced from Maui. They also serve Maui Brewing Company beer (and maybe Maui wine soon).
Check out their menu to see what you can grab the next time Kapaa traffic gets bad and you’re hankering for a fish fix. They’re tucked in the back of Safeway plaza and open 11a to 9pm daily.
Guest blogger Megan Fox is the Executive Director of Malama Kauai, a local nonprofit focused on increasing the production and consumption of local food, as well as a devout foodie and locavore.